Lake Mead N.R.A.

Lake Mead N.R.A.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Llano Tx., Blue Bonnets and Cooper's Pit BBQ

March 31, 2010.
What a beautiful day, temps overnight were in the upper 50's. It slowly warmed to 83. We had plans with the Cottonwood Creek RV Park owners, Les and Sherry and some of the park guests to go to Cooper's Pit BBQ in Llano, Texas.  Cooper's BBQ is located in the Texas Hill Country, the BBQ capital of the world. Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que is honored to be the best of the best in the barbecue business and home of the original World Famous "Big Chop."

The plan was to caravan the hour drive to Llano. We rode with Dale and Betty in their Dodge truck. As we got on highway 281 we began noticing the shoulders of the roads were full of beautiful wild flowers dominated by Blue Bonnets.

After an hour on the road, we arrived in Llano a small rural town on the Llano River just north of Fredericksburg.

Below is the parking lot of Cooper's Pit Bar-B-Que. Pretty crowded for 11:40 on a Wednesday! We all parked across the street. It seems to be a local favorite.

The BBQ is prepared in these rectangular grills. Before entering the building, you pick out the pieces of cooked meat that you want. They offered huge pork chops, beef and pork ribs, brisket, goat, steak and chicken. Once you select your cooked pieces they dip it in sause if you like before they put it on a red plastic tray. Then you go inside and the cooked meat is weighed and wrapped in paper.  You then pay the cashier. 

After paying for the meat and a drink, you find a seat at the picnic tables inside.  Then help yourself to beans and sauce for the BBQ. You don't get a plate, instead you are provided with what looks like white butcher paper to use as a plate for your meat that you unwrap at your table. None of us finished off the meat we purchased and apparently most people don't as plenty of tin foil was available along with paper sacks for the left overs! Believe me, the meat was excellent. We had a pork chop, some pork ribs and brisket. The company was even better, Dale and Betty Vaughn are sitting across from us in the picture below.  If you're in the Texas Hill Country, Cooper's Pit BBQ is worth the visit.

Afterwards, we took a ride back towards town and stopped at the Llano River to take a look at the falls and the bridge. Llano is Spanish for "plains,"  and the double L is pronounced as a Y. However the common pronunciation of Llano by the locals is LAN-OH. The river's north and south forks join near Junction, and from there it flows a hundred miles southeast until draining into the Colorado River

We checked out a few historic buildings with antique shops and a small Llano museum. As you can see, it was a windy day!

Behind the museum was an authentic cabin.

 A couple of shots of the historic down town district.

Back on the road, we took a scenic route known as the Willow City Loop off Highway 16. What a beautiful drive up and down hills and across creeks. The views of the hills and wildflowers were incredible.

The road was steep, narrow and winding. I was fortunate not to have to drive as I really got to enjoy the views.

Many segments of the loop have these fences and cattle guards in the road. Apparently, cattle won't walk across these large metal pole grates in the road.

It looks like the road disappears in the photo below.

Truly, beautiful rugged country. The Willow City Loop is worth a drive especially when the wild flowers are blooming.

On the way back home, we made a couple of stops, including a stop at Dairy Queen in Johnson City! I'm sure Dale drove over a hundred miles today. We certainly appreciated that they offered to drive. We got back home close to 5pm. All that driving around and eating made us sleepy! We enjoyed a quiet evening of American Idol.

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